*Vlog of my travels home in NYC down below!
Writing is not easy. Choosing words left and right, synonym after idiomatic expression. It gets tiring. I never thought I’d go down this path as a writer, especially because I’m still a professional Classical Guitarist in training.
So for those of you that aren’t aware, I’ve been busy this past week drafting my very first eBook! It’ll be a free giveaway. I have a set deadline I’m trying to reach, and am looking forward to sending it off as soon as possible for you guys. But in the meanwhile, I thought it’d be cool to give you a little sample of various selections from the manuscript. All the stories you find here are real, and the ideas are things I’ve been developing and tweaking over the years through guidance of my parents and friends. Yes, it’s possible to learn from your parents.
Here we go.
I’m a complicated person. Let’s just say that first impressions aren’t usually who I am, but the irony is that what you see is what you get. I like to say “I’m a breaker of every stereotype one can give (except that I can’t drive and wear glasses).” I’m your typical Asian-American dude, or am I? My parents named me “Fiel Mahatma Sahir*” (that’s three languages including one dead one). I was born and half-raised in Portland, Oregon and grew up in New York City (the place I call home). I was an introverted child who refused to speak, currently thrive on conversation. I was a rebellious child who would do anything except putting the guitar in my hands and practice (to the dismay of my parents) but as of yet I am pursuing my Masters in the instrument. I hated my Indonesian culture, but have now embraced and celebrate it as a cornerstone of my identity. You’ll read about all these stories later on and come to understand that no matter who we feel or think we are, we are works in progress. Scary huh?
You may be thinking, “But I don’t like talking to people!” Don’t worry, we’ll get to that. Sometimes all you need to say through closed lips is, “I’m listening.” In this guide to becoming a Superhero, we’ll walk through the 5 things I’ve personally come to believe and experience is changing the world, one conversation at a time.
1. Screw comfort zones, they’re just boxes.
Don’t let who you naturally are define your sociability. A lot of people love to define themselves by whether they are introverted or extroverted, and the conversation ends. Despite not being a generation that likes to be “in the box” and despises labels, this is one of the largest boxes we need to get rid of! Once this goes, all others will follow. Often times we’re excuse-making machines. We love thinking, “Wow that was a pitiful fluke. If only I had better communication skills or…” The list goes on and on. We can always find something to criticize ourselves: Don’t put yourself down. The easiest way to prevent change is when you knock yourself off your own two feet. When striding new borders, we must have what Carol Dweck calls a growth mindset. If not, work is vain.
A stranger is a friend you haven’t met yet. – Irish proverb
Storytime: Back in September, I taught the teens in my home church that we have to learn to love all people, even the homeless. Obviously this necessitates questions and I shared my various experiences talking with homeless people and befriending them. Later in the week, while sitting at Bryant Park together after a whole day of hanging out and dinner at Chik fil-a, we were approached by a homeless guy. Time to practice what you preach and show the kids it’s possible. We listened to Jeff talk about all the things he was going through and explaining his interesting disappearance after my sister tried to help him out two weeks prior. This took awhile. But at the end, the kids got it. Before he left he said, “Thanks for taking time out, and making me feel like a person.”
As I mentioned earlier, Superheroes (that’s us) aren’t in it for the brownie points. Superheroes don’t need them anyways. We’re in it to make a difference in the life of someone else. This is what I call Ambassador living, with a capital A. If there’s one thing people need more than money, it’s not someone to talk with, or at them; it’s for someone to listen them.
Ask questions. Asking questions causes people to open up in their general assumptions. Asking questions insures a conversation. Asking questions makes people think. – Michael Ramsden
How cool would it be if in addition to Christmas, Santa Claus randomly came to your house and dropped you a present? It would be the most unexpected thing! You would go throughout your week feeling extra special. No one would be able to smack the smile off your face!
We’ve all seen faces of surprise, and we all know how great it is to receive a nice phone call or an email from someone after a long time! It’s simply great to hear their voice. That feeling of reunion is indescribable. It’s simply great to hear their voice. Sure, it’s not the same thing as getting a present from Santa, but it’s next best thing.
So there you have it. A short preview of the upcoming eBook! I hope you enjoy what you’ve read so far. Please let me know in the comments if you have any suggestions or ideas. I’d really love to hear from you personally!
Without further ado, travel with me to NYC and see why I love it so much!